Several days ago, I purchased a PEN E-P1. I’ve been thinking about a number of years of collecting all the digital PEN cameras that Olympus has made. I’m not referring to the PL (Pen Lite) or PM (Pen Mini) camera lines, which were launched alongside the regular PEN cameras in an effort to provide lower-cost alternatives for consumers with lower budgets. I’ve wanted to own all of the regular, full-featured PEN cameras, of which there are five models: E-P1, E-P2, E-P3, E-P5 and PEN-F. So when did my love of PEN cameras start? It was when I reviewed the PEN E-P2 back in 2010. I loved that camera and I wanted to have it right there and then, but I was heavily invested in Canon gear at the time. Fast forward to 2018. When I bought the E-P1, I already had the E-P2 and the E-P5 (I also have the first PL model, the E-PL1). Since then, I’ve also purchased the E-P3, so now the only camera left to get for my collection is the PEN-F.
The E-P1 is an important camera. Launched on June 16, 2009, it was the first digital PEN. Fifty years before it came the original PEN, in 1959. Both cameras were revolutionary in their design and their compact size. What Olympus managed to do with the digital PEN was amazing: they managed to give us the features and quality that only came with larger, heavier cameras, in a tiny and light camera body that could be carried in a pocket or a purse. In its time, the E-P1 was the lightest, smallest and most capable camera on the market. It may not have been the best at everything, but it offered image quality that was higher than or comparable to much larger and more expensive cameras with larger sensors. Even today, almost nine years later, when the E-P1 is coupled with a great lens, such as the M.Zuiko 25mm f1.8, it can produce truly beautiful photographs that match quite well the quality of images made with cameras that have full-frame sensors. You’ll see this in the gallery below, which contains photos I’ve taken in our garden with the E-P1 and the 25mm f1.8.
I am fortunate and happy that I was able to build my PEN collection, and that I get to work every day with such great cameras. The PEN E-P5 is my primary camera now, both in the studio and outdoors. I love it. Enjoy the photographs!
Spring has arrived and that means it’s time for my annual gallery of photographs from our garden. This is the sixth edition mind you, so it has become somewhat of a tradition for me. I hope you have a cup of tea or coffee ready — if you don’t, go get one — because there are 131 photographs for you to see. There’s also something different from previous years: I’ve taken most of the photos with my Olympus gear, particularly with my PEN E-P5 and the new lenses I bought for it. This equipment is so light and so responsive it feels like I’m almost cheating when I use it. And there’s no compromise in image quality. I love it. Enjoy the photographs!
A growing evening primrose plant
A focus stack
A focus stack
I call it fuzzy because of the fine hairs on the leaves of this developing comfrey plant
The petals on the lower daisy have been partially eaten by a snail
A focus stack
These flowers just love to spring up on the garden path instead of sticking to the tended grounds. Also notice the itsy-bitsy spider hiding behind the shrub in the foreground.
Quite a few years ago, I published this gallery of photographs I’d taken in the province of Dobrogea in Romania. I’ve been going through my catalog lately, re-discovering the places I’ve visited and photos I haven’t yet edited, so I thought I’d put together another gallery of photographs for you.
You may know that Dobrogea is thought of as flat place, wide and mostly arrid — great for agriculture — and it certainly is that, but there are some spots in it that can look quite different. Did you know that Dobrogea has mountains and they’re the oldest in Romania (quite possibly some of the oldest in Eastern Europe as well)? They’re so old and worn down by time that they look like hills. You’ll get to see them here, including the biggest one of them, Altantepe.
Enjoy the photos!
Outside the village of Mihail Kogalniceanu, on the road to Constanta. The mountain in the distance is Altantepe. There was a productive gold mine there in the past.
An old mountain in Dobrogea, Romania.
A flowering plant from the nettle family, in spring.
Lichen growing on a hillside rock in the region of Gura Dobrogei, Romania.
An old, old mountain in Dobrogea, worn down by winds and winters.
A jet airplane shoots past the moon in plain daylight.
Years ago, we took a quick day-trip into the Danube Delta which involved some boating (hence, rowing). It was a fun little trip to the edge of the Delta. It was early spring, so the full beauty of the place wasn’t readily apparent, but that also meant that there were no mosquitoes, which was a huge plus for me. Enjoy the photos!
Herd of goats
Reeds waving in the spring breeze.
An oar strikes the water, making a splash. This is a very short exposure, which freezes the splash mid-air.
The convoluted and twisted branches of a tree are set against a bright blue sky.
Ligia stands by a lake, dressed in a black blouse and jeans skirt.
A villa sits on an island in a man-made lake near the Danube Delta, in Dobrogea, Romania.
These are photos I’ve taken during a couple of hikes through the hills near the village of Strugari in Moldova, Romania. Here’s a map of the area.
It was the middle of March (the 14th and 15th) and spring had just arrived. Most of the grass was dry and leaves hadn’t sprouted yet. As a matter of fact, no buds were even apparent on the branches of the trees in the area. A friendly little mutt that belonged to friends of ours accompanied me on the hikes (you can see him in the photos). A late snowfall introduced an element of adventure to one of the outings. It’s lovely to be in the middle of nowhere and to be suddenly surrounded by myriad falling snowflakes. A magical quiet sets in, sounds are muffled and a feeling of wonder takes over.